Skip to main content


Person's photo

Robert Doran

  • Professor of French and Comparative Literature
  • Head, the French Program
  • Head, the Comparative Literature Program

PhD, Stanford University; PhD, Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris III

414 Lattimore Hall
(585) 275-4251

Office Hours: Spring 2019: ON LEAVE



Robert Doran teaches courses on nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French literature and culture, in particular on the novel, romanticism, Napoleon, existentialism, and Paris. He also teaches courses on continental philosophy and contemporary French thought. His current research concerns philosophical aesthetics, in particular the concept of the sublime, literary theory, early French cinema (especially Jean Renoir), intellectual history, and historical theory. He is currently working on two book projects: Revolutionary Aesthetics: The Sublime in Nineteenth-Century France and The Ethics of Art.

Research Overview

Critical theorists Michel Foucault, Hayden White, Gayatri Spivak, and Richard Rorty.

"New book explores ‘ethical turn’ of critical theory"
- UR Newscenter article, 12/20/17

Courses Offered (subject to change)

  • CLT 389:  Major Seminar (Fall 2017)
  • FR 157:  French in France (Summer 2018)
  • FR 202:  Introduction to Literature in French (Spring 2018)
  • FR 207:  French in France (Summer 2018)
  • FR 230:  French Social Thought (Fall 2018)
  • FR 232:  Hugo's "Les Misérables" (Spring 2015)
  • FR 233:  Realists and Romantics (Fall 2015)
  • FR 245:  Revolution and Romanticism (Fall 2018)
  • FR 246:  Dumas's "The Count of Monte Cristo" (Fall 2017)
  • FR 254:  Camus and Sartre (Fall 2014)
  • FR 255:  Sartre and Heidegger (Fall 2016)
  • FR 262:  French Philosophy Since 1960 (Spring 2014)
  • FR 265:  Aesthetics (Spring 2018)
  • FR 266:  Balzac and Baudelaire in Paris (Fall 2013)
  • FR 267:  Baudelaire: Poetry and Modernity (Fall 2016)
  • FR 268:  Jean Renoir and Cinema (Spring 2017)
  • FR 269:  Foucault and the Ethics of Theory (Spring 2017)
  • FR 281:  French Cinema: 1930-1960 (Fall 2014)
  • FR 289:  Philosophy of Art (Fall 2015)

Selected Publications


Journal Issues

Recent Articles

Recent Translations

  • Translator. "Rupture and Literary Creation in Jean-Paul Sartre [1968]." By René Girard. Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture, vol. 22, Spring 2015, pp. 1-16.
  • Translator. "Living with Others: Reciprocity and Alterity in Lévi-Strauss." By Marcel Hénaff. Rethinking Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908-2009), edited by Robert Doran. Spec. issue of Yale French Studies, no. 123, 2013, pp. 63-82.
  • Translator. "The Future of the Novel [1957]." By René Girard. Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture, vol. 19, 2012, pp. 1-8.

Selected Invited Presentations

  • "On the Use and Reuse of History: Reading Hayden White's The Practical Past." Is Theory Critical? UCI Critical Theory, 22-23 May 2016, U of California, Irvine.